You say sommelier, I say barista

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Sun Jul 20 20:19:55 UTC 2008

On Jul 20, 2008, at 12:31 PM, Joel S. Berson wrote:

> At 7/20/2008 02:01 PM, Benjamin Barrett wrote:
>> That's how I generally hear it. I've found that palatalized liquids
>> are nearly impossible for many people to pronounce. One example is my
>> cat, Ryouma, whose name begins with a palatalized flap. I've found
>> that even pronouncing it as a palatalized "r" leaves people
>> nonplussed.
> Is that a typo, and should be 'nonpussed"?

Not sure what "nonpussed" means, but no, they are really bewildered
when I say "Ryouma" and try to explain how to palatalize the flap/
liquid. Perhaps the context is wrong for nonplussed here.

>> The word sommelier, of course, now refers not just to wine, but
>> espresso (and perhaps other things as well).
> So "barista" is out?  It's much easier to pronounce.

I don't think they are the same thing as a sommelier works with blends
and brands and has a deeper understanding of coffee. Not that a
barista can't as well. Here's a conversation about sommelier with
respect to coffee and a mention to tea:


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